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3 musial My father once sold a Chevy to Stan Musial, the story goes, back in the fifties, when the most coveted object in the universe of third grade was a Stan the Man baseball card. No St. Louis honkytonk or riverfront jazz club could be more musical than those three syllables rising from the tongue of Jack Buck in the dark mouths of garages on our street, where men like my father stood in their shirt-sleeved exile, cigarette in one hand, scotch in the other, radio rising and ebbing with the Cards. If Jack Buck were to call my father’s drinking that summer, he would have said he was swinging for the bleachers. He was on a torrid pace. In any case, the dealership was failing, the marriage a heap of ash. And knowing my father, I doubt if the story is true, although I love to imagine that big, hayseed smile 4 flashing in the showroom, the salesmen and mechanics looking on from their nosebleed seats at the edge of history, as my dark-suited dad handed the keys to the Man, and for an instant each man there knew himself a part of something suddenly immense, as when, in the old myths, a bored god dresses up like one of us, and falls through a summer thunderhead to shock us from our daydream drabness with heaven’s dazzle and razzmatazz. ...


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